Showing posts from August, 2013

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 78 - My first visit to Disneyland: The best day of my life - 19th August 2013

Disclaimer: This is a long blog post which only attests to how much I loved today. This morning Becky maingated herself, me and Rachael into the park so we all had a 1-day, 2 park hopper to explore the parks with. We started off the day with the premiere ride here - Radiator Springs Racers. This is where you get in a car from the hit-film ‘Cars’ and race against another car - I was so, so excited for this land and it did not disappoint. It was beautiful in every way possible. Radiator Springs Racers in particular has to be one of my favourite rides - it’s just so much fun, the characters inside the ride are incredible and it really is one of those things that you just have to experience in person. The key is to be there at park opening when we got on in 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes or more - but it does have a single rider line which is useful. Radiator Springs Racers Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers - one car always beats the other in the race I am so glad that

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 77 - Over to LA! - 18th August 2013

Before hopping on the flight over to LA there was one place I needed to visit and that was Grand Central Station. Even though visiting it would take me out of the way by 30 minutes, that’s exactly what I did. And it was worth the trip - it was beautiful inside and truly evoked an era where train travel was glamorous and really only a domain for the rich. Grand Central Terminal - stunning. The station even has a small shopping mall. For lunch it was a nearby Five Guys burgers which ticks another thing off my bucket list - the burger was incredible, by far the best burger I have ever had. The fries not so much, but definitely go there for the burgers - they are made fresh as well! Waiting for our flight at Newark airport. The flight over to LA was uneventful which is always nice. United decided it’d be smart to charge for the in-flight entertainment after thirty minutes so that went unused, but surprisingly the 6 hours flew by (no pun intended, ha ha) which really surprise

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 75 & 76 - Exploring New York - 16th and 17th August 2013

16th Aug I was up nice and early because I had booked myself to be on a walking tour for a large part of today. The tour was by Free Tours by Foot and lasted 6 hours covering Lower Manhattan in quite a bit of detail. We explored all kinds of different areas from the big hotspots such as the 9/11 memorial site to Little Italy, Wall Street, Chinatown and some lesser known areas. On Wall Street - if you close closely on the ground near here you can see a part of the original wall which stood on this site. The tour did include a lunch break for an hour and a second 15 minute break too. The tour could have been really lonely as most of the other people were in groups, but I got chatting to a French guy called Alex who was living the dream - an internship in New York for 6 months where he gets paid, has an apartment, free travel and free gym membership. What more could you want? The tour was fantastic and I thoroughly recommend it - although it is a walking tour, you do use the subw

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 74 - New York here I come! - 15th August 2013

So today was the day for me to make my way to New York, the city that never sleeps. I got the Magical Express at 8:45am, which was actually the one before mine but I managed to get on board anyway as it wasn’t too busy. Breakfast at the airport was at McDonald’s as there were no remotely healthy choices. I felt really bad for having breakfast there but I did need to eat. The plane journey started off very well - I was surprised to get offered a drink throughout the flight as that wasn’t something you’d get back in Europe for such a short flight. Then about two hours into the flight the captain told us that because there was a holding pattern in Newark and there were at least ten aircraft ahead of us we wouldn’t have enough fuel to hold for an hour above New York so we were going to have to stop in Washington D.C. for a quick refuel. This quick refuel ended up taking about an hour and a half and then we had to wait an extra 30 minutes on the runway before take off. It was an absolut

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 72 & 73 - Universal and Resort Hopping - 13th to 14th August 2013

13th Aug Once again, somehow we managed to enter the Universal parks around 9:40am but this time we headed for Universal Studios first. Rip Ride Rockit was first via single rider and I was on within 15 minutes. Then I wanted to re-ride the Mummy with my brother as it was only a 10 minute wait and my parents went to see Disaster. The plan was to meet in front of Men in Black. Whilst on Revenge of the Mummy our train stopped on a block brake, an automated announcement came on and we sat in near darkness for about 10 minutes. The lights came on and I knew we were going to be evacuated. A message played confirming this and we were evacuated so we got to see the Revenge of the Mummy ride with lights on which essentially is a big building with black curtains everywhere and a rollercoaster track going through it. It was my first coaster evac! And we got to see backstage at  Universal which surprise surprise is exactly the same as at Disney - boring steel containers and unpainted walls. I c

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 69 to 71 - I'm finally on holiday! - 10th to 12th August 2013

10th Aug I woke up to the realisation that it was all over. The college program was done. It was a bittersweet moment, but it also meant that today was the real beginning of my summer holiday.

 To kick things of it was time for a visit to the beach. Yes, I’d been living in Florida for over two months and not once been to the beach. So the plan was to go to the best one in Florida, Clearwater Beach. I had booked us a hotel about twenty minutes away from the beach and we got there around midday. Check-in wasn’t until 3 o’clock but we thought we’d try and check anyway. Lo and behold the rooms weren’t ready but we were told that they would be in about an hour. Photo: TripAdvisor So, we made plans for the beach but only ten minutes into the journey I spotted a sign for Steak n Shake and we stopped off. After lunch we went back to hotel, checked in and then drove down to the beach. We were at the beach for 4 or 5 hours which was nice but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay any longer.

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 67 & 68 - The end of a journey - 8th and 9th August 2013

8th Aug Today the reality that my program was coming to an end really hit home. What with graduation last week and my final day of work yesterday, it really set in today when I had to pack up my room. My mum came over to help clean and empty out my room and it was really sad seeing it empty. Blair was at the parks with his friends and Dan was with his parents so I never got to say a proper goodbye to either which was sad but hopefully we’ll see each other in the future. It really seems that you only get to say goodbye to those you spend most the time with and towards the end of the program that was my Fantasyland friends! It’s almost impossible to say bye to everyone you met on the program! I checked out of the apartment, handed in my key, kept my Disney ID card and nametag as souvenirs and was bid “good luck” by the front desk! The room I've spent the whole summer in...empty :( My parents, brother and I went to Walmart and I bought us a Disney photo frame and photo folder

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 66 - My last day at work - 7th August 2013

It was time to visit Hollywood Studios this morning with the family and I managed to ride Toy Story which everyone enjoyed. I and my brother went on Rock N Rollercoaster, we all went to see the Indiana Jones show, we saw the full Backlot tour show, and did a few other bits and bobs. The backlot tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios I went over to the Magic Kingdom for work and allowed plenty of time to get there. As I was so early it was time for some shopping. One of the staples I buy every time I go to Disneyland Paris is a calendar and I’ve had Disney parks calendars on my wall for the last two years. I was in luck here as I found something I had never seen before - a 16-month Walt Disney World calendar! It covers September 2013 to December 2014 so that’s next year’s calendar covered. I was genuinely a lot more excited than I should’ve been but I was really pleased to have bought it. As I walked up Main Street I caught the finale of the Dream Along with Mickey show but th

Walt Disney World ICP - Days 63 to 65 - Work, Work, Work - 4th to 6th August 2013

4th Aug We were up bright and early today at 7:30am and got to Animal Kingdom just after opening - Expedition Everest was first, followed by Dinosaur which my mum actually went on - she said it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. Next I and my brother rode Primeval Whirl, followed by a family ride on Dinorama. Kali River Rapids was next while my parents watched the Finding Nemo Musical. We got soaked as we went directly backwards - it was fun but my brother was not pleased. To dry off we ventured onto Expedition Everest again with Fastpasses and then the whole family rode the Safari which we all really enjoyed. We also took a quick journey over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
 By 1:30pm we were done with most of the big attractions, except the trails, Tough to be a Bug, Lion King, and Flights of Wonder. I got the bus to the TTC, the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom whilst my family went back to the hotel. I got to work early so did the WDW Railroad again. Work was uneventful from

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 62 - EPCOT with the family - 3rd August 2013

I stayed overnight with my parents at Pop Century as I had today off. Epcot was the park of the day. My parents weren't up for Soarin' so I and my brother went on it. It was scarier than my brother thought it'd be in terms of how high up you go but he really enjoyed it. 

Next, it was time for Test Track which I thought I'd managed to convince both my parents to go onto but my mum chickened out after not even one minute in line. My dad and brother loved it though. The on-ride photo on Test Track - all on the back row Next it was Mission Space - the orange more intense version naturally. My brother loved it but was glad he hadn't had anything for breakfast as I had recommended. Ellen's Energy Adventure was next and my mum loved it. The others not so much. Ellen's Energy Adventure in the Universe of Energy pavilion Next it was Sum of all Thrills in Innoventions. The coaster we designed only went upside down twice so the operator asked if we wan

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 61 - Taking the family to the most magical place on earth!... - 2nd August 2013

We were up bright and early at 7am and got the bus at 8:10am for the opening show at the Magic Kingdom. When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 8:35 the turnstiles weren’t working so we were allowed in and one of my complimentary days didn’t get used which was great. As a Cast Member I get 6 free entry days on my program for up to 3 guests but my first day wasn’t used so if my parents want they can still go in another 6 times!
 We watched the opening show at 8:45am and I could see that everyone was enjoying themselves by their smiles - even my Dad and brother! The Welcome Show in the Morning Photo: Disney Parks Blog We started off the day with Space Mountain for myself and my brother whilst my parents went on the PeopleMover. We grabbed a Fastpass for Splash Mountain and went for breakfast at Starbucks. Peter Pan was next and luckily my friend Tori was working so we got on through the disabled access lane and skipped the entire queue. This was followed by Pooh and the Barnstor

Walt Disney World ICP - Days 59 to 60 - Goodbyes and Hellos - 31st July to 1st August 2013

31st July Today was our graduation ceremony when we all got to dress up and celebrate completing our program. I went over with Dan to Chatham square field where the event was being held. We got a wristband on the way in which would later allow us to get free food. First though, we went over to collect our certificates of completion and our memory box that Disney provides, it’s where we can store all the little mementos of our time working at Disney and is a great souvenir. Graduation was great as it was a chance to see people I hadn’t seen in weeks or even months! I got some photos with loads of my friends with Donald and Daisy. We also got another photo with Goofy in his graduation gear and Pluto too! At that moment I realised I’d completed my bucket list goal of getting photos with all the fab 5 characters which was great! We could have met Mickey in his graduation attire but the queue was over two hours long! We got food next which consisted of chicken, a burger, salad and a ho

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 58 - Seaworld!!... - 30th July 2013

Oriel and I were up bright and early and met outside my apartment at 7:45 for an exciting day at Seaworld. Today was really a spur of the moment idea but I was so excited to visit a new place! We got the 25cent-for-CMs iRide trolley and were at Seaworld at 8:30 for the 9:00am opening. The secret is that the park actually opens 15 minutes earlier so we started going in at about 8:45am. Even at 8:30am there were already a lot of people in line. Probably 200-300 which granted is a lot less than other parks but it was still a lot more people than I expected. Oriol had an annual pass so knew the secret about the lockers - you need 4 quarters to rent one and they cannot be re-opened so he got change for them whilst we waited for park opening. The new ride of course at Seaworld is Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. We were on within 10 minutes which was great because the line reached 100 minutes later in the day. It was an interesting ride to see as they use the new trackless technology v